Bishop seeks bail in Kerala nun rape case

Move comes nearly 80 days after investigation began into the allegation by a nun that the bishop had abused her 13 times

Indian Christian nuns and Muslim supporters protest as they demand the arrest of Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who is accused of raping a nun, outside the High Court in Kochi in the southern Indian state of Kerala on September 13, 2018 Indian police on September 12 summoned for questioning a bishop accused by a nun of raping her multiple times, following days of protests by other nuns and supporters.

Thiruvananthapuram: The bishop of Jalandhar in India’s Punjab state, Franco Mulakkal, on Tuesday filed a bail application at the Kerala High Court in Kochi.

The move comes nearly 80 days after an investigation began into allegations of rape by a nun from a convent in Kuravilangad, in Kottayam district.

The nun is accusing the bishop of abusing her as many as 13 times between 2014 and 2016. The bishop has staunchly denied the allegations.

The development comes as a protest at the High Court Junction in Kochi, near the Kerala High Court building, by a group of nuns demanding the arrest of the bishop entered the 11th day. As of Monday, the abused nun’s sister had also joined the protest.

The bishop was expected to arrive in Kerala by Wednesday, for questioning by the police team investigating the allegations.

It was likely that the bishop would reach Kerala on Tuesday ahead of his appointment with the police team on Wednesday.

In his bail petition, the bishop has argued that the allegations are part of a “conspiracy” against him, and that the nun who claims to have been abused by him, was in fact acting with vengeance against him because he had taken some disciplinary action against her following some complaints.

The bishop also says, in the first statement given by the nun to police, there was no mention of him forcibly abusing her.

The bishop goes on to add that some internal rifts within the Missionaries of Jesus congregation that he heads had led to the present allegation.

The protest strike by the victim’s colleagues in the Kuravilangad convent has been attracting large crowds, with people from different walks of life visiting the protest venue and offering their support to the nuns.

Protests have also been going on in the state capital and in Kozhikode, demanding justice for the aggrieved nuns.


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